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MSI - 15.6" Gaming  Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - 512GB Solid State Drive - Matte Black With Gold Diamond Cut-Angle_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 1928 reviews

98%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.2 out of 5 stars with 10 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Beat Mode Activated!

    Posted
    Jeff

    In a word... WOW! Okay, so now to the review after getting that out of the way. First a little back story and I will attempt to keep this short for those of you that get bored easily. :) I have been searching, debating, thinking, reviewing for about 2 months prior to making a purchase. The MSI GS65 kept yelling at me, "Pick me, Pick me!" However, when I went in to buy it, I was talked into buying the Microsoft Surface Book 2 (SB2 moving forward) as I was told it would be better for both productivity and gaming. Not necessarily better at gaming, but a more well-rounded laptop due to my needs. I will say that the SB2 is a beautiful machine with an amazing screen, but in no way does it come close to the gaming performance of this BEAST! More on that soon. I am the type that really needs / requires a bright and vibrant screen. The whites to be white and not washed out, the blacks to be black, etc. That was my one hesitation I had when looking at this in the store, that it didn't come across as overly bright and vibrant. Well, then I get it home and my worst fears were NOT realized. The colors are beautiful, the whites are white and there are a multitude of options to change the colors, brightness, etc. MSI True Color works very well. Does it compare to the SB2 as far as clarity, vibrancy and color representation? No, but it certainly holds it own for a 1080P screen. The 144HZ more than makes up for it to say the least. I can no longer go back to a 60HZ screen after this. Thanks, MSI for ruining me in that way! Performance: Again in comparing SB2's performance to the GS65, I tried several games. GTA V I was getting 35 - 55 FPS on normal (medium) settings and on the SB2, I am getting between 90-130 FPS on mostly high settings on the GS65. COD Black Ops 3 via Steam on the SB2 - 40 - 50 FPS, GS65 144HZ consistently. Forza 7 via Windows 10 gaming, 60FPS on the SB2 and 144HZ on the GS65. Ridiculous! One other thing I don't like about the SB2 is the 3:2 aspect ratio. I understand some people like it, but I don't. Fan noise: I honestly don't think it is loud at all. Can I hear it? Sure, but in no way is it distracting. Either I have poor hearing (which I don't) or I just don't care as much as some people. It truly isn't loud nor distracting, but you can hear it at times. The 3 cons I have are these: 1. The trackpad isn't very good. I use a gaming mouse, so it isn't a huge deal for me, but it's not good. 2. The speakers sound so-so, but the volume doesn't get loud at all. Not sure why that is, but in some programs I have to turn the volume up to 80 and that's a little odd. Perhaps a driver issue, I don't know. 3. Lastly and my biggest complaint of all is the difficulty in upgrading the SSD and RAM. With the flipped motherboard, it makes it quite risky and certainly a pain in the patootie to do so. Yes, I said patootie. I think I will take it to a computer repair shop to do so because if they mess it up, its on them. One side note. The 512GB SSD runs out of room quickly, so I have attached a 4TB external portable hard drive to it and have loaded my Windows 10 games, PC games and Steam games to it. I have seen no drop in FPS or performance at all. Sure, the loading times are a little slower, but game-play is seamless. In conclusion, if you are on the fence about getting the MSI GS65, jump off the fence, run quickly to Best Buy and get it. I have absolutely no buyers remorse after returning the SB2 and picking this up. None. It is classy looking so I can use it at work and powerful enough to run all current games without issue. Please excuse me, I have to go back into Beast Mode on my new MSI GS65!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best Laptop Available - Gaming & Productivity

    Posted
    nova

    Like the title states, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is quite easily one of the best laptops on the market right now for not only gaming, but also productivity related tasks. Build Quality & Design: The chassis appears to be a very thin aluminum. This allows the laptop to be incredibly lightweight, which is one of the best aspects of this laptop. For a 15.6" laptop, it feels relatively as heavy as an iPad pro with a type cover attached - that is to say, not very heavy. The trade off to this is that the laptop does have some flex in certain areas. The display does flex slightly when opening and there is some slight flex over the vent above the keyboard. However in everyday use it's not noticeable (how often do you really just press down on random areas of the chassis of your laptop..?). There is little-to-no flex in the keyboard or palm rests. The design is superb. The design is very nice and subdued. It's something you can take out in a coffee shop, school, or at most individual's office space and not feel as though all eyes are judging. The gold dragon is the only thing that clues this as being a little different than your run-of-the-mill laptop, and it looks more elegant than gaudy. The keyboard however does have an eclectic font typeface. However, this is a completely subjective aspect of the laptop, neither good nor bad. I personally find the font to be fun and I enjoy it. The keyboard comes with RGB lighting which can be customized or disabled as you prefer. The quality of the lighting is superb, and seems on par with Razer's "Chroma". As far as the display, it's beautiful. The brightness is somewhere between standard and great. It's not the brightest screen, but it definitely does well for daily use. As far as screen bleeding, this is easily the first laptop screen I've owned that has absolutely NO screen bleed (seriously!), which is a massive 5 star to MSI. I don't know if I hit the display lottery, but I'm very happy with this display. The 144hz refresh rate also allows for snappy performance and looks great - particularly when scrolling through extensive word and excel documents. Text doesn't blur together, it remains crisp. Performance: Unfortunately, I can't speak much to the power of the i7-8750H as I don't do any photo or video editing. However, I can comment about the GPU. The GTX 1070 is of the max-q variant, meaning it is approximately 10-15% slower than the standard mobile 1070. This is a good thing as it allows the computer to run cooler and have better battery life without significant drop in performance. This laptop will shred through most modern AAA titles at 70+ FPS at 1080p resolution (I can't speak on 4K gaming). The thermals are also good, for a laptop this size. You have to compromise a little when it comes to thermals. Small packages cannot deliver low temperatures. However, MSI has done a good job. With three exhaust vents (two on the sides, one in the back), there is plenty is space to dispel the heat. There are also two large air intake vents on the top and bottom of the keyboard. As a result, the laptop stays relatively cool while gaming both internally and to the touch over the keyboard and palm rests. The fans do kick on during serious gaming, but the sound is a lower, less distracting, whirling sound. You'll notice it, but likely be okay with it. Battery: This is one of the big selling points to me. For such a powerful laptop, the battery during normal operation is phenomenal. Combinations of web browsing, YouTube, listening to music, and working in Microsoft office programs, I average between 6-10 hours (depending on what all I have open). Gaming is substantially less - around 1 hour to 4 hours (depending on the game). You'll want your charger if you plan on gaming for hours on end. Other: Audio is good. Laptop speakers are almost always awful. These are pretty good for simple YouTube and movie watching. If you're seriously into gaming or are an audiophile, you'll likely be using headphones anyways which makes it a non-issue. If you don't have headphones, go get a pair. The built in audio drivers are pretty good with headphones. The touchpad uses windows precision drivers and is very responsive. It's a little smaller than something like the macbook pro or surface book, but I never found that I ran out of space during normal use. It's positioned more on the left side of the laptop which is nice for typing (as your palm doesn't brush up against it), but can be uncomfortable to use for an extended period of time as your right hand has to bend sideways more. Yet again, it's not a deal breaker at the least, just something I've noticed. If you plan on doing a lot of mouse intense work, you'd likely want a mouse anyways, regardless of the laptop. There are no biometric login features, so no Windows Hello or fingerprint. However, I find that a quick 4 digit pin number unlocks just as quick as it takes for most Windows Hello equipped laptop's infrared cameras to kick on. Bottom line: No laptop is perfect. But this one is dang near close and I have to give a lot of credit to MSI for delivering such a great product. If you're a student, a hardcore gamer, or just your standard guy/gal who needs a solid laptop who also likes to play some games - this is the laptop for you. I hope this helps some of you in your decision. Note: The 512gb hard drive that comes with this Best Buy edition is partitioned into two drives: (Windows C:\ and Data D:\). There is nothing on the Data partition and can be deleted and reallocated to the C:\ drive for a larger volume. You will need a third party partition manager (I used MiniTool Partition Free) to delete the D:\ drive and extend the size of the C:\ drive. Before doing this, make sure you grab a flash drive and create a recovery drive just in case something goes south and you need to reinstall windows from scratch. You can also delete the hibernation file (Open command prompt in admin mode, type powercfg /hibernation off) to save an extra 6gb of storage.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Very impressed so far.

    Posted
    Ponyheart
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I've only had the MSi GS65 Stealth Thin for about a week, but so far, I'm very pleased with it. I bought the MSI GS65 mainly for 3D content creation on the go with ability to do some light gaming. My main work and play computer is custom built desktop, and My last laptop was a 2012 Alienware m17x r4. I really wanted a lighter, smaller form factor laptop to travel with, and was also considering the Razer 15, Acer Aero 15x, ASUS Zephyrus, and possibly another Alienware. I chose the MSi because of its more mature stylings, small form factor, performance, upgradability (having 2 M.2 slots), and price coming in at under $2k. Styling and Build Quality: The GS65 looks great with it's thin bezels and black matte finish with rose gold details. A very refreshing and mature look for a gaming laptop. The weight of the GS65 is a very easy at 4.5 lbs and the laptop in general is very sleek and easy to transport. It's no where near ultra book sleek but it's huge improvement one past gaming laptops that could weight 10 lbs or more. The GS65 has some flex in the chassis and lid, but that's to be expected as it's not a milled aluminum uni-body, like the Razers or Macbooks, and the bezels around the screen are very thin. Mine also doesn't have very much creak or rattle that others have mentioned. It is somewhat of a finger print magnet. If you going to add an SSD, more RAM, or re-paste, then be prepared for a stressful chore, as the motherboard needs to be completely removed to accomplish these things. I haven’t torn down the GS65 myself, but will be soon and I am not looking forward to it. Overall it has a nice design aesthetic and an acceptable fit and finish, with a questionable motherboard layout. The GS65 feels nice to handle and to look at. Just don't expect the GS65 to be as solidly built as a Macbook, Razer, or Surface Book. Performance: The GS65 is a beast with it's 6 core i7 8750H. I haven't performed any tests or benchmarks, but it breezes through the applications I use daily. 3dsmax, photoshop, Substance Designer, Zbrush, and the UE4 editor all work great. I haven't done any rendering or lighting builds yet, so I can't speak for that yet. As far as gaming goes, I've only downloaded a few games all of which ran great. Doom, Quake Champions, and Fortnite all average 120 fps or higher on high or ultra settings. I feel the 1070 max-q graphics card will be adequate for gaming for the next few years at least. The M.2 512gb SSD on the GS65 is a SanDisk and SATA not a NVMe PCIe. I would have preferred a PCIe drive but it works fine and boots quickly. The drive is split in to 2 partitions, making a smallish drive even smaller, which I really didn’t care for. It was an easy fix though. I re-partitioned it using a free hard drive management software that I downloaded (I end up using minitool). Heat and Fan Noise: With out of the box settings the laptop gets hot quick under heavy load or gaming. Using HWMonitor I saw CPU temps of up to 94C while gaming and running programs for content creation. But that was easily and quickly helped by tuning the fan profiles. That alone seemed to drop the temps down 5-7 degrees C. Under normal use the temps never leave the 50s. I haven't re-pasted or under-volted the cpu, but it’s something I plan to do soon. The fans aren't very aggressive and even in max "cooler boost" setting aren't crazy loud, and they don't have any whine or harshness to their tone. I can definitely tell the fans there when they start to kick up rpm, but that doesn't really happen unless I'm gaming, and I wear a headset while gaming. The fan noise isn't enough to carry over my mic using Discord. Screen and Speakers: I would have preferred a 4K screen for productivity, but this screen is very good, and probably better for a pure gaming experience. At 144Hz this screen is buttery smooth while gaming. I never had any tearing or stuttering. The colors are decent for a monitor targeted for fast FPS gaming. It has 6 pre-set color modes and is fairly easy to adjust. The contrast and viewing angles are good, but not at true IPS level. The brightness is great for most indoor lighting, but it's not really bright enough if you’re by a sunny window or sitting outside during the day. I could see everything okay while in the sun, but it wasn't very comfortable on my eyes. It gets fairly dim on the lowest setting and coupled with the anti-blue mode it is very easy on the eyes in a dark room. I use a high contrast windows theme with a mainly black desktop and black or dark gray themes in all apps that allow me to change color settings, and I have notice hardly any backlight bleed. The speakers are surprisingly loud and clear for being downward firing in a slim laptop, and only slightly muddy. They’re slightly tinny and could use more bass fullness. Not the best laptop speakers I ever heard, but I’ve heard worse on much larger laptops. The speakers are decent if just listening to a podcast or instructional YouTube video, but if you want to game, listen to music or watch a movie you’ll want to put on some headphones. Battery Life: The battery life of the GS65 is expectedly short while gaming or using demanding software. Under normal daily mixed use of surfing the web with multiple browser tabs open, sporadic watching of YouTube, music streaming, and email checking, I’m averaging about 4hrs. While that’s not a great battery life, I also haven’t done any battery calibration, or changed any power settings yet. That’s about 4hrs out of the GS65 with out of the box settings for the most part. With Wi-Fi on, the monitor and RGB lighting on full brightness, and CPU on comfort mode. I’m sure with the RGB off slightly dimmer monitor and a little power setting adjustments I think the GS65 could be stretched out to its 8 hour claim. Keyboard and Track Pad: I’m used to a full-sized mechanical keyboard, and my old laptop is a 17.3” so the GS65s Keyboard is a little small for me. It also lacks a 10 key. It has vey nice pressure and decent key travel. It is nice to type on once I got used to the key spacing. It has 2nd forward slash keys for some reason, but that doesn’t really bother me, and all the shortcut keys make sense to me. If you’re into RGB lighting, the GS65s keyboard is easily customizable using the SteelSeries Engine 3 software. You can program color, brightness and lighting patterns on the entire keyboard, and change the key binding on all keys. The GS65s trackpad is smooth and allows my fingers to glide across smoothly. The trackpad feels accurate and responds well to zooming and scrolling gestures (those are the only ones I use). But, the clicking on the GS65 leaves much to be desired. The GS65 doesn’t have separate mouse buttons, you must click the track pad itself. The click is hard to actuate the higher up on the trackpad you press, and is best accomplished by pressing all the way in the lower left corner, as I have found myself accidentally right clicking multiple times. The trackpad issues on the GS65 aren’t much of an issue for me though, as most of the time I’m using a wireless mouse, but if you don’t use a mouse the track pad could become annoying. Software: The GS65 comes with the some of bloatware, but bit didn’t have as much as is usual with ASUS or Alienware, and it was all easily removed. It comes with SteelSeries Engine 3 to control the keyboard lighting and binding, and I have to say I like it a lot. It’s very easy configure the keyboard to your liking on the GS65. It also comes with MSi Dragon Center, which is the app used as the central hub for simple tuning and the basic maintenance of the laptop, as well as backup creation and the user manual. MSi Dragon Center is straight forward and easy to use, but it is also limited. If you want more control of the tune-ability of the GS65 then you might want to download separate software for that. It doesn’t yet support any type of face recognition or biometric security. Conclusion I would highly recommend the MSi GS65 Stealth Thin to anyone that wants a thin and light gaming setup, with enough processing power to work on photo/video editing and 3D content creation. It has a few quirks like the tricky trackpad clicking, flipped motherboard, and weird SSD partitioning. The fit and finish level isn’t as good as others. But overall, it’s looks are sleek and refreshingly un-gamer, it stays relatively cool and quit, and packs massive performance in a small, thin, and light weight package.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Laptop, Very Few Compromises

    Posted
    Jacob

    Firstly, the laptop has a great finish quality on it and is constructed of high grade materials. It does pick up some fingerprints, but cleans off very easily. There are not many places for dust to be lodged in, and it fits perfectly into my 15" Thule case from Best buy as well. The hinge is thin, but sturdy, and the screen does not annoyingly bob up and down. The speakers are reasonably loud, and are located at the bottom corners. Due to being placed much closer to you, they do a good job at conveying surround sound combined with the high quality of the laptops sound management systems. However, they could be louder, and they are muffled when placed on a soft surface. This is not a deal breaker for me though, as they are leagues above any other thin-and-light form factor laptop. Cooling: The laptop has extremely well designed cooling fans, and in regular use or browing on chrome, they seem not to even be on. The design which expels air out of the sides and back while intaking from the bottom and top works very well, and they are still at barely a whisper while playing games like Assasin's Creed Origins, Battlefield 3, Grand Theft Auto, etc; something I could not say about my Razer Blade 14. Although I havent needed to use this feature, the fans can be manually controlled in MSI's included Dragon Center and they do a fantastic job under harsh rendering loads (I used Adobe Premiere Cs6 to render a 4k Video). -Unfortunately, the bottom of the laptop does get very hot, but that is unavoidable in this form factor. a simple solution is to place one thin object between your lap and the computer if you are gaming on it. Keyboard Quality: No complaints. The layout is slightly different from other computers I have worked on such as a MacBook Pro or a Razer Blade, but I learned the new layout quickly as it is very intuitive. The volume and brightness controls are quickly toggles to the directional keypad with the fn button, making on-the-fly adjustments while gaming or working in a fullscreen program very fluid. Keyboard Lighting: The Steelseries Keyboard is very easy to type on, no mushy, not too loud, and has Per-Key RGB. This was one feature I loved from my Razer Blade, but I believe this keyboard does it better. You can program as many macro's to change the keyboard as you want, write your own lighting setups, use preloads, or even download pre-made layouts for your most used programs. My favorite was setting the keyboard to burn in orange and red while playing DOOM. Support and setup are very easy as the client comes pre-installed. Monitor/LCD: The panel did not live up to all of my wildest dreams, but if you give it a chance you can appreciate the 144hz display. It is extremely bright, has a quality finish on it, and looks stunningly smooth on the games that are optimized to run on it. However, I do wish the contrast ratio was better, and a 7ms response time, while amazing for a laptop, is not incredibly better than most monitors. Ports: One of the main reasons I got this laptop was because of all of the port offerings it had while still being extraordinarily thin. It packs a full size ethernet port, allowing you to truly experience low-latency gaming or high dowload speeds. I had no problem with my 300mb/s home network. --USB-C works amazingly, and can support multiple other devices and monitors through one port. --Audio connectors are high quality, sturdy, and dont seem like they would break anytime soon. They are not recessed into the body so you do not have to worry about them getting gunk in them or becoming misaligned. --Three USB 3.1 gen 2 ports are more than enough for me. If you're plugging more than that in... well, you can always extend them with a USB-C dock. They are sturdy and hold plugs with no wobble. --Inclusion of a full-size HDMI is much appreciated, however I will not be using mine unless I have to. It seems very study, but I recommend you try to use the more durable display ports and usb-c ports as breaking the HDMI port can be very hard to repair. Nonetheless, it is very nice to have and so long as you dont put stress on the connector or use low-grade cables, it should last the lifetime of the device. Next, Performance. Battery life is OK. Nothing exceptional unless in battery saver mode, but for a gaming laptop, it is crazy. Turn down the brightness and hit power saver, and you can go a good 8 hours, give or take 2 depending on if you are just writing documents, or doing more intensive tasks like streaming 1080p video. Still, you wont feel absolutely tethered constantly. The small power adapter is pretty easy to throw in a backpack, but I did like my Razer Blade 14's smaller adapter. That being said, for the extra couple of inches you get an extra 20 watts of power, and that is worth it when you are gaming. The i7 6-core processor is a beast. I mean, crazy. It doesnt choke on anything. It is like having a desktop everywhere you go, and multiple processes at once is a breeze. The flexibility of having a low base clock and a high turbo speed mean it works very well regardless of the task at hand. Paired to the gtx 1070, this laptop really lets you push the limits, and it is nearly neck-and-neck with the 1080 laptops. Although I cant include everything in this review, the last peice I would like to add is about UPGRADABILITY. A very touchy, hit-or-miss subject for some consumers. If you are like me, you want to know the laptop is going to be able to keep up with the competition for at least a few years down the road. I was extremely happy to see that there is not only one, but two m.2 slots on the bottom, so you can always upgrade the storage if you want. The ram slots, of which there are two, while not easy to get to, can be upgraded. Unfortunately, I believe you may only go up to 32gb of ram, but I barely ever use all 16. In terms of future proofing though, not many other computers can do better, and for the form factor, nobody beats this. As a side note, all of the swappable components other than the wifi card will require you to take out the motherboard and flip it over. It is a simple enough laptop that it can be done by most gamers with care, but it is no job to be rushed (you could break fragile connectors) so hiring a certified technician may be a good avenue for more entry level users. In conclusion: This is a solid machine, a beast that dosnt draw too much attention, but puts full size towers to shame with little difficulty. It is built well, designed with the user in mind, and works as intended. MSI did a great job, and the price is unbeatable for the power and new technology you are getting.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Gaming Beast

    Posted
    ALOK
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    After long search for a gaming laptop finally ends with this laptop MSI GS-65. A lightweight, Powerful,Easy to carry.I considered several of the new Intel 8th generation lightweight gaming laptops before choosing this one. This model from BestBuy came with 16 GB 2400 MHz dual channel RAM, a 512 GB Toshiba M.2 SSD, N1550 wireless card and the Max-Q GTX 1070 GPU. I was on Tour bought from store Baton Rouge.Packing was excellent triple-boxed. The innermost, MSI-branded box contained the laptop. This box was held in an MSI-brown cardboard box with thick foam supports, alongside a second box containing the powerful beast. The build quality seems good. This is laptop has very thin bezel .I like MSI designing around weight - it's very light for a 15.6'' screen, at 4.1 lbs / 1.9 kg. Its body is full metal,robust & fingerprint magnet but can be cleaned easily with cloth Visually, I adore the black and gold look, with only the individually-lit RGB keyboard. You can customise the keyboard led as per your choice The keyboard is lovely to type on with a good medium weight to each key - The 1080p screen is reasonably bright with a high 144 Hz refresh rate and a good colour range .You have 2-finger scrolling up/down, and 3- and 4- finger gestures for changing between apps or controlling the volume. Upon booting up for the first time, there is the usual Windows 10 Home introduction sequence involving Cortana, which took about 10-15 minutes to get through. On startup laptop started to update. There were 5 or so other security updates, nothing major, so it starts off close to being up to date. Performance: GTX 1070 is of the max-q variant, meaning it is approximately 10-15% slower than the standard mobile 1070. This is a good thing as it allows the computer to run cooler and have better battery life without significant drop in performance. The thermals are also good, for a laptop this size. Small packages cannot deliver low temperatures. However, MSI has done a good job. With three exhaust vents (two on the sides, one in the back), there is plenty is space to dispel the heat. There are also two large air intake vents on the top and bottom of the keyboard. As a result, the laptop stays relatively cool while gaming both internally and to the touch over the keyboard and palm rests. The fans do kick on during serious gaming, but the sound is a lower, less distracting, whirling sound. The speakers sound fine,can be turned up pretty loud. The webcam is ok , Battery: This is one of the big selling points to me. For such a powerful laptop, the battery during normal operation is phenomenal. I average between 4-5 hours, Compnay claims upto 8 Hrs. The battery seems reasonable. Bottom line: No laptop is perfect. But this one is good and MSI has delivered such a great product. I hope this helps some of you in your decision.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    High-end Lightweight Gaming Laptop

    Posted
    hark
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Full Disclosure: I was incentivised to write this review thanks to the MSI offer of a Steelseries Headset upon submission of a review. There was no requirement for a minimum score. I was looking for a gaming laptop a bit different from the monsters that used to define this sort of thing - something lightweight, that wouldn't look out of place in an office whilst still being able to pump out games for years to come. My previous laptop recently died after 7 years of hard labour, and I wanted to treat myself to something that would last. I considered several of the new Intel 8th generation lightweight gaming laptops before choosing this one. This model from BestBuy came with 16 GB 2400 MHz dual channel RAM, a 512 GB Toshiba M.2 SSD (not as fast as the NVMe in other models, but the most storage at this price point and a second unused SSD slot), the Killer N1550 wireless card (which has been fine so far) and the Max-Q GTX 1070 GPU. I had this shipped from BestBuy (via UPS), and it arrived triple-boxed. The innermost, MSI-branded box contained the laptop (in two protective sleeves). This box was held in an MSI-brown cardboard box with thick foam supports, alongside a second box containing the power brick. No other peripherals come with this item. Finally this was packaged into a plain shipping box alongside a strip of large air-filled bags (instead of polystyrene), with nothing on the outside identifying its contents. Overall, this was excellent packaging, the laptop suffered no damage during transit. The build quality seems reasonable - the screen and body will flex if you are actively trying to make them do so, however I haven't noticed anything during normal use. This is most likely due to MSI designing around weight - it's very light for a 15.6'' screen, at 4.1 lbs / 1.9 kg. It does collect fingerprints, but they disappear after a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth. Visually, I adore the black and gold look, with only the individually-lit RGB keyboard to suggest a gaming pedigree (this was easily set to a uniform white through the SteelSeries Engine software - Fn-1-0 acts as a shortcut to jump between different profiles). The keyboard is lovely to type on with a good medium weight to each key - I very quickly found myself making no more mistakes than I would on any other I'm used to using. The 1080p screen is reasonably bright with a high 144 Hz refresh rate and a good colour range (however if this is important for your own work I would advise checking the many technical reviews which calibrate the colours according to the 3 standards). The trackpad (running Synaptic drivers) was annoying at first however, it seemed to enter a click every 7 seconds or so losing focus on any drop down menus. However this disappeared after a restart and I haven't noticed any problems since. You have 2-finger scrolling up/down, and 3- and 4- finger gestures for changing between apps or controlling the volume. I did have to find a Chrome extension however to retain the two-finger swipe forward and backwards I had previously. Upon booting up for the first time, there is the usual Windows 10 Home introduction sequence involving Cortana, which took about 10-15 minutes to get through. I uninstalled maybe 8-10 items of bloat, nothing too hard to remove. Coming from Windows 7, the inability to have control over updates was annoying, and the laptop started to update from 1709 to 1803 (currently not deemed great) but oh well. There were 5 or so other security updates, nothing major, so it starts off close to being up to date. I haven't yet had the time to push the performance, but the Max-Q 1070 has been performing well on benchmarks and I have no real concerns here. The 8th generation of intel CPUs seem to perform around 30% better than the previous generation, and the USB-3 thunderbolt port offers the potential to run an external GPU if that becomes relevant in years to come. The main concern is the thermals - at high loads users have found this model to run hot! CPU undervolting offers one solution to this, as might re-pasting (this will, however, void your warranty with BestBuy according to the employee I asked so beware). Under normal conditions (for example, writing this review while surfing) the CPU is running at 44 °C, and the fans are silent. The speakers sound fine, nothing amazing but it's a laptop. They sit underneath, but can be turned up pretty loud. The webcam is a little grainy, but will certainly suffice, and there are plenty of ports if you wanted to run a dedicated camera. One nice feature is the ability to physically turn the camera off however, for the security conscious (when enabled through the keyboard-shortcut the Windows Camera app cannot find the camera). The battery seems reasonable. I wouldn't want to attempt a full days work with no charger to hand, but I would have no worries about an afternoon away from mains. When plugged it during use it sat at around 90% (claiming to be plugged in but not charging) which is likely to improve the battery life by reducing the number of charge cycles the laptop goes through by not going to 100%, dropping a little bit, topping up and repeating. 6-and change hours use seems to be about what I get. Overall I'm happy, and looking forward to seeing what this laptop can really do with some games!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    It's good, but not as great as it could be...

    Posted
    CamNev
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Here is what I love about the GS65 Stealth. It's fast. It rendered a Revit file at best quality in 1h 22m that a competing high-end laptop with a 7700HQ and double the RAM, a GTX 1050, and a much fast NVMe SSD writing at 4x the r/w speeds took 2h 17m. The screen quality is very good and the colors are accurate. The keyboard is mostly comfortable to type on. Finally, the laptop is thin, light, quiet (the second time around), and has excellent battery life when not playing games or rendering. One very nice touch is the SteelSeries RGB backlit keyboard. I just wanted lit keys, but the customizable per-key colors and brightness levels are really fantastic. Here is how this laptop annoys me. First, these design choices are horrendous. Who in R&D decided that an upside-down mobo was a good idea? This was one of the worst decisions for the upgradeability. I work in IT and I don't even like to pull laptops apart. They're annoying and have little room. Plus, we have that delightful power connection on the right side cutting across the fan. The first laptop almost melted the cable. These are just ridiculously poor decisions on the design. Second, it's nowhere near as fast as it could be. The RAM is only 2400MHz and the SSD is non-NVMe. This is noticeable when rendering CAD files, when transferring lots of data, and when heavily multitasking. These are minor upgrades and could improve performance drastically. Third, the trackpad is fantastically bad. I had to have this exchanged because of the trackpad and poor build quality (loose piece of trim on the outside and temps over 90C when browsing the Internet). The second one is much better, but the trackpad frequently skips, freezes, and become non-responsive randomly. My next step is changing the Synaptics drivers for Windows Precision and hopefully that fixes it. Fourth, the sound of the fans on the one prior to exchanging it was irritating. Fifth is that annoying power light. It's extremely bright, in the middle of the laptop, and cannot be disabled while in use. Quite the opposite, in fact. It glows bright white while using the laptop. Not distracting at all. Finally, the build quality is pretty mediocre. Most reviews say that it's great, but I'm used to workstation-grade laptops and Macbook Pro aluminum unibody models that are really excellent quality and this just feels OK. Not cheap, per se, but definitely not as high end as it should be for the price. Even laptops at half the price feel like they're made of higher quality components. Now for the real issue. I only have one, everything else is easily lived-with. The only truly awful aspect of this laptop is backlight bleed. It was consistent on both the original and replacement model. It's so bad that on any image that is even somewhat dark it's VERY noticeable. All four corners and along the whole bottom of the screen are just BAD. I have several laptops and, as an IT professional, work with many more and this level of bleed is just unacceptable in any laptop over $1000. If there were better options at this price-point with the weight, battery life, and a trackpad, I would be all over it. Unfortunately, there isn't one other than the Aero, and that's practically unavailable. All in all, this is a good laptop. There's a lot of annoyances and the backlight bleed is terrible. However, I can overcome the speed annoyances and live with everything else. This earns my recommendation, but only just. I would probably buy another one and recommend it to my clients if they were to request a powerful thin and light laptop.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A solid laptop..... so far.

    Posted
    ivandrago

    This is the second one of this same laptop. I purchased the first one from a local Best Buy, but upon turning it on I found the backlighting to be too irregular. I have a big issue with that, but not everybody will notice and/or care about it. Because of backlighting tech, there's no actual black, but illuminated grey. That's the state of the technology, I suppose. I/you just have to accept that. The keyboard is the best that I've ever used on a laptop. It's a pleasure to type on it. It's just the right amount of clicky without being loud enough for others to hear you typing. The multicolor keyboard backlighting is solid, but the secondary keys are just painted on, which was disappointing. It makes no sense that they wouldn't have just gone the tiny extra step. The Razor line does the same thing. The sound leaves much to desire over my last laptop which had great sound (HP Envy 17 3D 2010). This one has a tinny weak sound that can barely be heard over light coffeehouse chatter and music. The sound from the headphone jack is very solid though with no noticeable line noise while plugged in but so far I can't find options to tweak the sound profile for my various headphones. I haven't had a chance to really test the performance, but most of the professional reviews put this near the top amongst laptops with this form factor. The fans have only kicked up a few times since I've used it and they're a little loud, but not the loudest I've ever heard. There's a small amount of fan whine while the laptop is running, but nothing that's wildly distracting. This laptop has a mother and gpu facing up, so installations of ram and storage will take a bit more finesse to accomplish. In the end, this setup will probably extend the life of the laptop. The vent game is on point for something this slim. The port selection is reasonable. It's got everything most people will need..... except for a dang SD card port. Dongle city, here I come. At least I won't need one for connecting to ethernet, unlike Apple or Razor laptops. Both of which don't have an SD port either. The build quality is fair, but not great. The build quality of both Razor and Apple laptops is better than this one, but it's a trade-off. This laptop would more than likely be $400 more expensive and would have heat dissipation problems. I'd rather have a cheaper frame than have the fans blasting under medium load (Razor) or CPU/GPU throttling (Apple). There's a small bit of frame flex when my palms are on the wrist rest that causing a tiny bit of plastic creak. I'll correct it when I install more ram and storage though. In summary, I have a good feeling that this laptop will serve me well for the next few years. Time will tell. If it blows up next week, you'll be the first to know after I get out of the burn clinic. ;)

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best portable Gaming Laptop

    Posted
    Vinctosc
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Like the title states, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is quite easily one of the best laptops on the market right now for not only gaming, but also productivity related tasks. Build Quality & Design: The chassis appears to be a very thin aluminum. This allows the laptop to be incredibly lightweight, which is one of the best aspects of this laptop. For a 15.6" laptop, it feels relatively as heavy as an iPad pro with a type cover attached - that is to say, not very heavy. The trade off to this is that the laptop does have some flex in certain areas. The display does flex slightly when opening and there is some slight flex over the vent above the keyboard. However in everyday use it's not noticeable (how often do you really just press down on random areas of the chassis of your laptop..?). There is little-to-no flex in the keyboard or palm rests. The design is superb. The design is very nice and subdued. It's something you can take out in a coffee shop, school, or at most individual's office space and not feel as though all eyes are judging. The gold dragon is the only thing that clues this as being a little different than your run-of-the-mill laptop, and it looks more elegant than gaudy. The keyboard however does have an eclectic font typeface. However, this is a completely subjective aspect of the laptop, neither good nor bad. I personally find the font to be fun and I enjoy it. The keyboard comes with RGB lighting which can be customized or disabled as you prefer. The quality of the lighting is superb, and seems on par with Razer's "Chroma". As far as the display, it's beautiful. The brightness is somewhere between standard and great. It's not the brightest screen, but it definitely does well for daily use. As far as screen bleeding, this is easily the first laptop screen I've owned that has absolutely NO screen bleed (seriously!), which is a massive 5 star to MSI. I don't know if I hit the display lottery, but I'm very happy with this display. The 144hz refresh rate also allows for snappy performance and looks great - particularly when scrolling through extensive word and excel documents. Text doesn't blur together, it remains crisp. Performance: Unfortunately, I can't speak much to the power of the i7-8750H as I don't do any photo or video editing. However, I can comment about the GPU. The GTX 1070 is of the max-q variant, meaning it is approximately 10-15% slower than the standard mobile 1070. This is a good thing as it allows the computer to run cooler and have better battery life without significant drop in performance. This laptop will shred through most modern AAA titles at 70+ FPS at 1080p resolution (I can't speak on 4K gaming). The thermals are also good, for a laptop this size. You have to compromise a little when it comes to thermals. Small packages cannot deliver low temperatures. However, MSI has done a good job. With three exhaust vents (two on the sides, one in the back), there is plenty is space to dispel the heat. There are also two large air intake vents on the top and bottom of the keyboard. As a result, the laptop stays relatively cool while gaming both internally and to the touch over the keyboard and palm rests. The fans do kick on during serious gaming, but the sound is a lower, less distracting, whirling sound. You'll notice it, but likely be okay with it. Battery: This is one of the big selling points to me. For such a powerful laptop, the battery during normal operation is phenomenal. Combinations of web browsing, YouTube, listening to music, and working in Microsoft office programs, I average between 6-10 hours (depending on what all I have open). Gaming is substantially less - around 1 hour to 4 hours (depending on the game). You'll want your charger if you plan on gaming for hours on end. Other: Audio is good. Laptop speakers are almost always awful. These are pretty good for simple YouTube and movie watching. If you're seriously into gaming or are an audiophile, you'll likely be using headphones anyways which makes it a non-issue. If you don't have headphones, go get a pair. The built in audio drivers are pretty good with headphones. The touchpad uses windows precision drivers and is very responsive. It's a little smaller than something like the macbook pro or surface book, but I never found that I ran out of space during normal use. It's positioned more on the left side of the laptop which is nice for typing (as your palm doesn't brush up against it), but can be uncomfortable to use for an extended period of time as your right hand has to bend sideways more. Yet again, it's not a deal breaker at the least, just something I've noticed. If you plan on doing a lot of mouse intense work, you'd likely want a mouse anyways, regardless of the laptop. There are no biometric login features, so no Windows Hello or fingerprint. However, I find that a quick 4 digit pin number unlocks just as quick as it takes for most Windows Hello equipped laptop's infrared cameras to kick on. Bottom line: No laptop is perfect. But this one is dang near close and I have to give a lot of credit to MSI for delivering such a great product. If you're a student, a hardcore gamer, or just your standard guy/gal who needs a solid laptop who also likes to play some games - this is the laptop for you. I hope this helps some of you in your decision. Note: The 512gb hard drive that comes with this Best Buy edition is partitioned into two drives: (Windows C:\ and Data D:\). There is nothing on the Data partition and can be deleted and reallocated to the C:\ drive for a larger volume. You will need a third party partition manager (I used MiniTool Partition Free) to delete the D:\ drive and extend the size of the C:\ drive. Before doing this, make sure you grab a flash drive and create a recovery drive just in case something goes south and you need to reinstall windows from scratch. You can also delete the hibernation file (Open command prompt in admin mode, type powercfg /hibernation off) to save an extra 6gb of storage.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    MSI GS65 - Best Laptop at a Great Price!

    Posted
    TechMonkie

    MSI GS65 Thin Review for BestBuy.com I've owned a lot of laptops, but this is the best. The MSI GS65 is a thin (near desktop replacement) laptop. I use mine for video production and it chews through 4K video production through Adobe Premiere like a beast! I would recommend this laptop to anyone looking for near desktop replacement level hardware for on the go. It runs about 90% (CPU) and 75% (GPU) of what a desktop i7 8700k (CPU) and GTX 1070 (GPU) performance. A laptop that puts out that much performance is a great laptop! Below are my thoughts with Pros and Cons. Most of the Cons can easily be resolved. Pros: ---------------- - Thin - Fits 14" cases - Mostly Metal Frame (Bezel around the screen is the only part that isn't metal) ---------------- - Quiet - Word Processing or Web Browsing Silent - Even when rendering fan noise is not whiny ---------------- - Performance - Adobe Suite - Easily handles my 4k workload - Gaming - No game yet has stopped this computer! - Lots of Air Flow for Laptop stand with a fan. ---------------- - Screen - I've missed refresh rates higher than 60hz. - It takes a while to get used to but it feels so nice on your eyes. - "A monitor that's like a pillow for your eyes." ---------------- - Keyboard - Layout - Great layout with only full size buttons. - Great feel and little to no learning curve. - Large keys are a plus! - Lighting with Function Keys - Lighting is customizable and bright - Holding down FN displays FN hot key buttons in red. ---------------- - Ports - This thing is loaded down with ports. - Once you plug in a mouse, two external hard drives, you still have room for two or three monitors, or a USB 3.1 device. ---------------- - Ventilation and Fans - The top, sides, and bottom of the laptop where all the heat generating parts are have perforated metal to allow air flow. - Nice pattern used. - Once high quality thermal paste is applied, idle temps are in the low 40c (Mid 30c with fan booster) and it hovers around 75-85c under load. - Fan noise is quiet and even on full blast you can mask the sound with a good pair of headphones. ---------------- - Battery life - Actually has a battery life! - 5-7 hours in practical use. You could probably get more if you dropped monitor refresh rate to 60hz. Cons ---------------- - Audio Driver Install Loop Issue - Audio would cut in and out when I plugged headphones in and I chocked it up to an Audio Driver - When I went to reinstall the drivers from MSI, they require old drivers to be removed but... old drivers are put in the system and cannot be uninstalled by easy means. - Thus an infinite loop of driver package uninstalling, restart, finding drivers installed, trying to uninstall them again... - Just stupid. ---------------- - BIOS update through USB Stick - It is 2018... why do I need a USB stick to update my BIOS? - Fan turns on for seemingly random work loads - Installing Programs will make the fans ramp up. - This is fixed my applying high quality thermal paste. ---------------- - Power light - It's weirdly brighter than any thing else on the keyboard. - It is used to differentiate between the two graphics cards, white being Intel GPU and orange being nVidia GPU. - Easily fixed with some LED blackout stickers. ---------------- - Poor Thermal Paste applied to CPU and GPU - Out of the box Cinebench R15 would thermal throttle right away at 90c - This can easily be fixed by applying your own (TUTORIALS ONLINE) but again... it's 2018! ---------------- - Killer Ethernet Driver - Killer Control Center had 'Advanced Stream Detect' enabled by default. This setting killed my upload speed. - ASD enabled: 200mbps down / .25 mbps up - ASD disabled: 200mbps down / 10 mbps up - I recommend to diable ASD as soon as you get setup.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Almost Perfect

    Posted
    jiggpuff
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I had been looking for a new laptop for months, and considered many different sizes and models. Having used 17" Macbook Pro, and 11" Macbook Air, and 13" Dell detachable, I found that for my current office and content creation needs, at 15" would be optimal. I purchased a number but returned them for varying reasons, including HP Spectre X360 (2017 and 2018), Dell XPS 15 2017, Dell XPS 15 2-in-1, and almost a Lenovo 720 and 730. But I finally found what I was looking for in the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin. My only hesitation was the price as it was considerably more expensive than all the others I tried. But it offered the least amount of compromises critical to me. 1. It's noticeably lighter than other 15", which is noticeable both when traveling and on your lap. 2. The screen is great. It's matte, which often doesn't have the pop of glossy screens. But this is plenty bright, with great colors. Plus no reflections now. Best matte screen I've seen. 3. Keyboard is comfortable. Many of the others I tried have shallow, low-travel keys. They're not terrible, but they're different and not as comfortable as the MSI's normal keys. I also like that there's no num pad included so that the trackpad and keyboard are centered on the screen, unlike the new HP Spectre 2018. I like how the keyboard is towards the bottom of the deck, so my wrists are cutting into the edge, as they do on most 15" laptops. By the end of the day I have red edge imprints on both wrists. No problem with this one. 4. Trackpad is good and is Windows Precision. Responsive without any issues so far. 5. Webcam is at the top of the screen, unlike some others at the bottom. I'm in video conference calls often, and the bottom webcams are terrible for this. 6. Super powerful. I'm not a gamer, but I do Adobe content creation. I finally have a laptop more powerful than my 5 year old workstation desktop. 7. Quiet. For most office related work, the fans are silent and it runs cool. 8. Sound is clear and loud enough. For common use, occasional web video, it's more than sufficient. 9. Design is classy and elegant. Black metal with gold accents. There's some creakiness in the joints, as the metal is thin, but this probably keeps its weight down. A fine trade off to me. 10. Battery life is relatively good. I've read that most gaming laptops fare poorly in battery life, or are big and heavy to house a larger battery. I get about 6 hours of common use (not gaming). It's not great, and not the level of the 11" and 13" low power laptops I have, but it gets you through most of a day. I had never bought a gaming laptop, and never an MSI before. But I'm really impressed, and happy after a long search. I have a hard time imagining someone being unhappy with this machine.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great

    Posted
    Ryan

    I am a college student who is hardly home, either spending long hours on college campus or at work. Most of my weekends are spent at my family's house, girlfriend's house, or visiting friends. Got this to replace my dell xps 13 for work/college and gaming desktop I built 7 years ago. Gets the job done in luxury. This laptop is great for all those needs. Pros: 1. looks great, feels great, runs fast, size/weight is perfect for a mobile work/gaming life, no performance issues, MSI branding is awesome. 2. MSI programs are not as cumbersome as people made them out to be; I find their utility beneficial and quite simple to operate. 3. Battery life is better than most gaming laptops I am aware of. Cons: 1. Battery life still leaves something to be desired. 1-2 hours with gaming (myself and most do not game while unplugged anyways). 3-5 hours depending on settings. For 2 consecutive college courses (4 hours), this barely makes the cut. Does not compare to my old dell xps 13, which gets 5-6 hours. Plan for outlets if you are planning to work remotely. You can't treat this like a dell xps 13 or macbook air/pro, even if it a $2000 laptop. 2. Heat. Not as bad as people made it out to be but still hot. This is a fair trade off to me for the slimness and weight. Runs hot while gaming but manageable, though I do not game for more than 2-4 hours consecutively. I don't know how this laptop would tolerate say 10-12 hours of consecutive gaming. Still, would not recommend using on your lap for more than 30 minutes. 3. Expensive... this is the audi and BMW of laptops. You are paying for the brand. I like the MSI brand, so this was fine for me. 4. MSI has a history of poor customer support with repairs being expensive, again the Audi and BMW of laptops. 5. Steelseries (LED keyboard) interface. Attempting to customize the LED patterns on the keyboard is more stressful than navigating my internship in neurosurgery. I just use the default patterns. Summary: Great replacement for gaming desktop and school/work laptop for someone that is constantly out and about. In terms of work/professional laptop, cannot rival macbooks or Dell XPS series, though I was aware of this prior